Efficiency & Nutrition
Dangarfield cattle have been bred and developed with the bottom line in mind. They are quiet, easy-doing, fertile cattle that are cheap to run. The goal is low input for high returns.
All bulls are weaned onto leucaena where they learn to graze and forage. They are removed from Leucaena approximately 70 days prior to sale and placed in large grass paddocks and fed a light supplementary ration. These bulls are required to walk 1km between feed and water, equalling an average of 4km walked each day.
This enables the bulls to be in presentable, working condition by sale time, achieved in a sustainable manner and still allowing freedom of movement and the option of grazing. In time, season permitting, it is envisaged that leucaena would carry bulls through right until the sale.
To remain a member of the Dangarfield herd, females must go in calf, or the spay tool and fattening paddock looms. It’s this stringent attitude towards fertility that sets Dangarfield apart, breeding fertile bulls from fertile females who must go back in calf on time, every time.
With no special treatment and no ice-cream in sight, these cattle must earn their place in the herd. Any empty females are removed from the herd. Empty heifers at preg testing are spayed and finished off, then sent off to the EU market, with the cows heading to the saleyards.
All heifers are joined at 12 months of age, and the cowherd is given a controlled mating period to get in calf from mid October to the beginning of March. The stud herd is mainly run in single sired mobs with around 50 cows per sire. Any sire that doesn’t achieve a 90% pregnancy test or better result in his paddock is removed from stud duties.
Some paddocks are run with 2 or 3 sires with between 70 and 120 breeders in them and the progeny are DNA tested. When seasons permit a 6 week AI program is conducted on the lead cows and heifers using both Dangarfield and outside genetics.
Our motto "Calf or Carcass" has been in force for over 40 years. From a controlled mating program all females must produce the goods each year or be turned over to carcass. A cow has 2 ways of making you money annually:
1. She can produce you a quality offspring, or
2. You sell her when she doesn’t deliver on number 1.
Dangarfield places strong emphasis on the temperament of their cattle and this is strictly monitored. All weaners are educated with dogs, horses and bikes, then brought back into the yards and through the pound 1 or 2 at a time, with stockmen on foot in the yard. Any animal that reacts in a less than acceptable, docile manner is culled. Temperament is monitored throughout the life of all cattle in the herd and acted on accordingly. Why should we put up with problem animals when the EU market pays well?
As well as breeding efficient, fertile and docile cattle, Dangarfield aims for a herd with great constitution - easy-doing ability, good muscle, natural thickness and structural soundness. The herd is also breeding to maintain the "tropical type", with loose ears and skin, yet tidy and true to tropical type.